Volunteer fire company rallies to help the Esworthy family


September 27, 1996|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IT'S THE SECOND time Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company has been there to help the Esworthy family.

More than 35 years ago, fire company volunteers went door to door collecting donations to help little Joan Esworthy, who suffered from cystic fibrosis and died in infancy.

Fire company members are rallying again, organizing a fund to help Chris Esworthy, Joan's younger brother, who also was born with the disease. The Mount Airy native was a fire company volunteer until he moved to Westminster three years ago.

Most cystic fibrosis patients don't survive past their early 20s, but Chris, who is 30, has been fortunate and has lived a relatively healthy life until recently.

Last month, Chris underwent a double lung transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The 10-hour transplant operation was successful, but Chris has experienced major complications that have lengthened his recovery and his return to normal life.

Two days after surgery, Chris developed blood clots, which caused him to have a stroke, explained Dawn Esworthy, Chris' wife. His feet were amputated as a result of the blood clots.

The stroke occurred to the left side of Chris' brain, which affected the motor skills of his right arm and hand. His speech and memory were unaffected.

Chris has been moved out of intensive care but remains hospitalized.

After his release, he faces a lengthy stay at a rehabilitation hospital, where he will be fitted for prostheses, and undergo occupational and physical therapy.

Dawn said Chris' rehabilitation and prostheses will exceed their medical insurance coverage.

Mount Airy Fire Company is planning fund-raisers to assist Chris with his medical bills.

Dawn credits daily support from family and friends with helping her and Chris through these rough months. Dawn's father, Edward Edder, took a month off from work to spend with Chris, offering support.

Now that Chris is off the ventilator and out of intensive care, Dawn says that he is keeping his spirits up, and looking forward to getting on with rehabilitation.

"He wants to get back to where he was before," said Dawn. Chris is expected to make a full recovery, and return to his job as a draftsman with Carroll Land Services Inc.

Chris was raised in a family in which volunteering with the fire company ran deep. It was only natural for Chris to follow older brothers Wayne, Larry and Tony into the junior volunteers when he turned 14.

"His family was like my family," said Dale Lowman, Mount Airy fire chief who watched Chris move up the volunteer ranks while )) battling his illness.

"It was never really an issue," the chief said. "He knew his limitations, and would come to me if there was a problem."

Contributions can be mailed to Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company, 702 N. Main St., P.O. Box 44, Mount Airy 21771.

L Checks should be made to the Chris Esworthy Assistance Fund.

Basketball tryouts

Woodbine Recreation Council will hold tryouts for boys basketball teams from 7 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m. Thursday in the gym at South Carroll High School.

Tryouts are open to boys in grades four through eight. The teams play in Carroll County Basketball League.

3' Information: Joe Beall at 781-6713.

Firehouse dinner

Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department will hold its annual fall dinner at noon Oct. 6.

The menu includes fried chicken, roast beef and ham. The cost is $8.50 for adults and $3.50 for children ages 6 to 12. Carryouts are available for $10.

The firehouse is at 1320 W. Old Liberty Road, Winfield.

Information: 795-4640

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Carroll Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 9/27/96

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